Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (April 2)

Sunday sees the first Group race of the season in the shape of the G3 Busan Ilbo Sprint on the south coast. Eoma Eoma and Raon The Fighter will square off in a true heavyweight match-up. See here for full preview and horse by horse form comments. The Busan Ilbo is the final race of 6 at Busan on the card which runs from 11:00 to 15:40. There is also an 11-race card at Seoul from 10:35 to 18:00. With the weather forecast set for rain from Tuesday, it may be the last chance this year to visit one of the Seoul area’s cherry blossom festivals, which is open at the racecourse from 10am to 9pm.

Eoma Eoma defends his Busan Ilbo Sprint title on Sunday (Pic: KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million

A small field of three-year-old maidens contest the opener. (1) SMARTY FIGHTER is the pick with a best of 2nd from three starts so far with the other two both ending in 5th. His 2nd was at this distance in February when racing from handy throughout and from a good draw, he can win here. The main danger is (3) SSEULMO. He was a much-improved 3rd at this distance on March 5th when leading for much of the way around. He will be on pace again and he could well hold them all at bay. There are two first-timers and it may be worth considering them (7) HEART K and (5) MUNHAK EAGLE both posted fair times in their respective trials and if they bring that form to the races, they won’t be too far away here. (6) NEMO SPIRIT perhaps the most likely of the other experienced ones to improve.

Selections(1) Smarty Fighter (3) Sseulmo (7) Heart K (5) Munhak Eagle
Next Best6, 8
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 8

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Special Weight A / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens. After winning a trial, (2) SINHAE MANGCHI has been 3rd in both his starts so far, both over 1200M and both times racing handily. He comes into his best gate to date, comes up slightly in trip, and with some natural improvement third-up, today can be his day. (5) SEUNGNIUIYEONGUNG won a trial before finishing 3rd on debut back in December when settling back and running on over this distance. It’s been fifteen weeks since we’ve seen him but he’s been in regular work since the start of February and can put in a bold showing today. (1) JORDAN FIGHTING has a 4th and a 5th in two appearances so far. He had a hard time from the widest gate on his latest outing and can go better from the inside today. (4) POWER PLANE and (3) DOCTOR PANGPANG others in the hunt in a race of many chances.

Selections(2) Sinhae Mangchi (5) Seungniuiyeongung (1) Jordan Fighting (4) Power Plane
Next Best3, 8
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 7

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

A maiden featuring seven fillies and one gelding. (7) BARAMSAL is the one they need to beat. While yet to finish in the top two in seventeen attempts, she has seven top-five finishes including two 3rd places among her latest three, most recently overcoming gate twelve to run close. She looks very nicely in here to settle a little closer than usual and today looks like her best chance. (1) EUNHYE GAMUN parted company with her jockey coming out of the gates on what was set to be her fist start in over a year on March 5th. She completed the course rather smartly without her partner and had previously trialled up well so is probably worth taking a chance on here. The only other one apart from Baramsal with a placing on her record is (6) TOUGH YEOJE. She tends to get a long way back but is another who benefit from this small field. She has the fastest time among these for the distance and should be aiming to get on the board. (5) MENI CHARM and (3) RAON JUMP other potential improvers in a weak race.

Selections(7) Baramsal (1) Eunhye Gamun (6) Tough Yeoje (5) Meni Charm
Next Best3, 4
Fast Start1, 4, 5, 8

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Special Weight A / KRW 25 Million

(5) QUEENS LANDING will be one of the shortest priced favourites of the day. She comes in off back-to-back 3rd place finishes, both over this distance and most recently on March 12th when she beat a couple of today’s rivals having settled midfield and finished well. In this company and from this gate she can be on or close to the speed and she should prove too good. (10) ACE A MOCA ran 6th on debut over this distance on February 17th when overcoming a wide gate to get to the lead before weakening late. She gets that widest barrier here, but with some natural improvement from that debut, she should be close. The form falls off after that. (4) WONDERFUL SMARTY beat Ace A Moca when 4th in that February 17th race. She was subsequently well beaten by Queens Landing on Mach 12th but can go better today. (9) SEOGYEONG DAERO and (2) UNJU GLOBAL others perhaps in the placing frame.

Selections(5) Queens Landing (10) Ace A Moca (4) Wonderful Smarty (9) Seogyeong Daero
Next Best2, 8
Fast Start2, 5, 8, 10

Seoul Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

It’s hard to go too far past (5) BEAT UP here. His win came at this distance last November on his return from nine months off and he followed it up with two 3rd place finishes from his first two attempts at this level, again both at the 1200M. He could only manage 6th when favourite at 1300M on February 25th but back down in trip and in this company, he will take some beating. (2) LUCKY BOUNCE comes up in class following an all the way score over this distance on February 26th. He comes down in the weights, draws well, and should measure up in this company. (6) SUPREME STAR remains a maiden but has never finished outside of the to-five in eight attempts including his first try at this class on March 5th. She carries a light weight and can maintain her consistent record here. (10) WONDERFUL TIZZY comes up in class and along with the returning (3) BARAMUI GEOM – also up in class – is in the hunt.

Selections(5) Beat Up (2) Lucky Bounce (6) Supreme Star (10) Wonderful Tizzy
Next Best3, 4
Fast Start2, 5, 7, 9

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(10) HANEUL JEWANG ran out a class and distance winner on March 5th when settling midfield from the widest gate and running on strongly. He comes up 3kg as a result, but Franco stays aboard, and we know the wide draw won’t be a problem. He can win again. (3) SPECIAL HERO was 4th in a decent time at class and distance on March 10th. She draws much better today and can match or better here under a light weight again. (7) SAVAHA comes up 2kg in the weights from his runner-up finish at class and distance on February 24th when he led for much of the way around. Expect him to be on the speed again and to be in this a long way. (6) PLAY THE INDY is up in class despite being a maiden but that makes him well weighted and he has run times that can be competitive in this company. (2) OK STAR another to keep safe.

Selections(10) Haneul Jewang (3) Special Hero (7) Savaha (6) Play The Indy
Next Best2, 1
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 7

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) KING DIA went through several trials before finally arriving at the races, but it was worth the wait as he ran out a six-length winner, having led all the way around over 1200M. He comes up in class and in distance, but neither should be an issue, and he can win again. It’s fair to say that (3) CUPID BISANG doesn’t win out of turn but he is ultra-consistent and has been in the top-four in each of his last five starts. He likes to be on pace or handy and he should be playing a role in the finish again. (7) HIGH GRAND is up in class having prevailed by three-lengths over this distance at start number six on February 25th. That win had been coming and he’ll be competitive among this lot. (8) RIVER TAEYANG and (1) GEUMSEONG SIDAE among others who can enter the calculations. 

Selections(5) King Dia (3) Cupid Bisang (7) High Grand (8) River Taeyang
Next Best1, 11
Fast Start1, 3, 5, 10

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Tricky race where plenty have winning chances. (7) SPECIAL WIND remains a maiden after ten attempts but has seven top-five finishes and has run fast times and has two runner-up finishes over this distance. Tactically versatile, in this company he can be expected to be on the speed, and today can be his day. It’s a similar story with (10) GOHEUNG CLASS although in her case, she is a five-race maiden. Since an inauspicious debut, she’s been 2nd or 3rd in each outing since including her first go at class and distance on March 3rd, when she was 3rd. The wide draw isn’t ideal but there is next to no early speed here so with a touch of luck, she can get forward. (9) DUBAI PYEONGJEONG beat Goheung Class when the pair ran 1st and 2nd with very little between them at class 6 level over 1300M in February. She then ran a fair 4th over a mile on her first attempt at this class on March 5th and shouldn’t be ruled out here. (5) WONDERFUL BOBCAT and the up in class last start winner (8) DIA BOSS are others who it would be no surprise to see win.

Selections(7) Special Wind (10) Goheung Class (9) Dubai Pyeongjeong (5) Wonderful Bobcat
Next Best8, 3
Fast Start5, 7, 8, 10

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Another very competitive race. It’s been a long time between drinks for (3) JEONGMUN CHOEGANG – fourteen runs, the be precise – but his recent form reads very well with both class and distance placings so far this year. He comes back to the 1400M over which he has the fastest time of any of these and from a good draw, he can return to the winner’s circle. (10) WONPYEONG TOWN is a maiden after ten attempts but has no fewer than six top-three finishes with back-to-back 3rd places from his latest two at 1300M and 1400M, both at this class. He can run handy or midfield and should be in the mix again here. (11) GRAND POWER is another many-race maiden but whose recent form suggests he can go close. He enters off a strong runner-up finish at class and distance on March 5th and can back that form up here. (5) HIDDEN BLADE and (4) EUNHYE RECORD are the other two in at least the minor money frame.

Selections(3) Jeongmun Choegang (10) Wonpyeong Town (11) Grand Power (5) Hidden Blade
Next Best4, 9
Fast Start5, 7, 10, 11

Busan Race 5: Class 3 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(4) HWARANG BEST shapes as a warm favourite. A winner ovr a mile at class 5 level two starts back he has since run 2nd in back-to-back races at this class over 1400M and 1200M, settling back and coming from off the pace on both occasions. He does come up 2.5kg in the weights, but he may have too much here. If he does leave himself too much to do, then (11) JATNAMUGIL could be the one to take advantage. He comes up in class following an emphatic win in a fast time at this distance on February 26th when he overcame the same wide draw as today to sit handy. He comes down a full 3kg in the weights and can be a danger here. (5) ILBEONJI is also up in class after a good win over 1200M on February 26th. She doesn’t have the benefit of an apprentice claim today so comes up in the weights but there could still be more to come from her. (6) ROAD TO V and (1) RAON THE FIGHTING are others to who can enter the calculations.

Selections(4) Hwarang Best (11) Jatnamugil (5) Ilbeonji (6) Road To V
Next Best1, 7
Fast Start5, 6, 8,11

Seoul Race 6: Class 3 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(6) TAP QUALITY was a winner in a fast time over 1400M at class 4 level in January, before almost making all on his first try at this class and distance on February 19th, just being taken down in the final few strides. An apprentice claim takes him down a full 4kg today and that could make all the difference. (3) K N UNDERKING comes up in class having won from off the pace at this distance on March 5th. He comes down significantly in the weights, David remains aboard, and he can measure up. (7) PANORAMA KHAN returned from seven months out to very nearly make all over 1400M on February 26th. He comes up 2kg from that run but should strip fitter for the experience and can be a factor here. (9) WONPYEONG COD and (4) LUCKY HOON are among others in the hunt.

Selections(6) Tap Quality (3) K N Underking (7) Panorama Khan (9) Wonpyeong Cod
Next Best4, 5
Fast Start2, 6, 7, 8

Busan Race 6: Class Open (1200M) Busan Ilbo Sprint (KOR-G3) Weight for Age / KRW 500 Million

The first Group race of the season. (15) RAON THE FIGHTER was runner-up in both the Korea Cup over 1800M and Grand Prix Stakes over 2300M lst year and drops back to a sprint distance to renew hostilities with (7) EOMA EOMA. They hold a win apiece over one another and while Eoma Eoma is the reigning Korea Sprint Champion – and the defending champion here, there is no doubting Raon The Fighter’s brilliance and despite the wide draw, he could get the better of his old foe here although he may need a touch of luck – or at least to avoid any bad luck or bumping – at the start. The rest are probably racing for 3rd. (10) YES PERFECT enters the equation after a super class 1 win over this distance on March 12th when running from off the pace. Whether he can catch the two favourites is another matter but he’s sure to be running on strong again. (14) SSONSAL and (1) DAEMANGUI GIL other placing chances.

Selections(15) Raon The Fighter (7) Eoma Eoma (10) Yes Perfect (14) Ssonsal
Next Best1, 3
Fast Start3, 7, 13, 15

Seoul Race 7: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Wildly competitive with any of the ten able to win. (2) SPO BLADE comes up in class following a runner-up finish over 1400M on February 12th over this distance when settling midfield and running on well. The class rise is countered by a big drop in weight of 5kg, as well as a good gate and he can win here. It’s a very similar story with (1) GEONGONILCHEOK. He too went through class 5 winless and comes up after a strong 2nd place at this distance on January 29th when he overcame gate eleven to sit handy. He drops 4kg in the weights, draws much better and should get an easier run. (6) RULES CLASS has experience at this level including a 3rd place at this distance. He consistently runs good times as he did on his latest on February 18th when 4th having come from well back. He should be there or thereabouts again. (5) DIRT SURFER was a winner at this class over 1600M on February 26th and while he is up in weight, warrants consideration. (10) ARFONS another in the hunt.

Selections(2) Spo Blade (1) Geongonilcheok (6) Rules Class (5) Dirt Surfer
Next Best10, 3
Fast Start1, 8, 9, 10

Seoul Race 8: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(4) GOLD POWER ran out an all the way class and distance winner on February 18th, scoring comfortably. She comes up a full 3kg in the weights but that’s balanced a little by a much better gate (she had gate ten last time) and a repeat isn’t out of the question. Also carrying his fair share of weight here is (9) SAENAE POWERFUL. He beat three of these on his way to a close 2nd at class and distance on March 4th when handy and running on and while this is perhaps a stiffer task given impost and barrier, he should be in the picture at the business end. (8) DAEWANGU was 4th in that March 4th race continuing a consistent run of recent form and he should be close at hand again (5) RAON THE WEEKEND and (2) DIA KEY others who should be kept safe.

Selections(4) Gold Power (9) Saenae Powerful (8) Daewangu (5) Raon The Weekend
Next Best2, 10
Fast Start4, 5, 9, 10

Seoul Race 9: Class 4 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) PURGE DAY got his maiden win at the sixth time of asking over 1200M on February 11th, having raced midfield and closed strongly. He comes up in class and in trip today but he is down in weight, draws well and he can win again.  (10) GYEONGBU DORYEONG comes in off a 2nd place at class and distance on March 5th when settling midfield and finishing well, albeit a long way behind a good winner. He has the fastest time among any of these for the distance and he can be considered here. (2) KING ACE will need his latest forgiven when on pace but weakening to last in what was a very quick race of small margins. Two starts ago he was a class and distance winner, and he can be given another chance here. (9) HUIMANG CHAMP and (11) HYPER CAR are among the other possibles.

Selections(3) Purge Day (10) Gyeongbu Doryeong (2) King Ace (9) Huimang Champ
Next Best11, 1
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 8

Seoul Race 10: Class 3 (1700M) Special Weight B / KRW 75 Million

(3) QUICKLY RUN has proved that she can do exactly that having finished in the top-three in all of her eight starts to date. She made all to win on her first try at this class and distance on February 18th and while she comes up 3kg in the weights, she has won carrying more in the past, and she can win again today. (7) JOEUN GWANGYE is one of very few horses who has beaten Quickly Run, something he did over a mile at class 4 level last November when the pair ran 2nd and 3rd. He is a winner over this distance and enters off a strong 2nd over 1800M on March 5th. He likes to come from off the pace and he will be running on strong. (8) BEOLMAL DAEJANG mixes his form, but he has placed at this class as recently as February and he may appreciate the step back up to two turns. (1) COWBOY KING’s previous attempt at two turns didn’t go well but he may be ready for another crack after running on well for 2nd over 1400M on February 18th. He is up in class but significantly down in weight. (2) RAPIDO ARES is the other logical place chance.

Selections(3) Quickly Run (7) Joeun Gwangye (8) Beolmal Daejang (1) Cowboy King
Next Best2, 9
Fast Start3, 4, 5, 10

Seoul Race 11: Class 1 (1800M) Special Weight B / KRW 110 Million

A very tricky class 1 to conclude the card. (9) LIL’ PATRON has been racing in tougher company than this of late, more often than not holding his own and beating plenty of today’s rivals along the way. He likes to sit back and run on, and he could well return to form here. (7) HEUK JEONSA returns to action for the first time since last summer’s Busan Mayor’s Cup when he was 6th behind Winner’s Man. He came through a trial in good order in February and while he will obviously need this, his quality should see him close. That’s true too for (4) CARVING CROSS, who has been out for even longer following surgery. He looked very well in a March trial, and this looks a very nice race to come back in. If you are not so keen on the returnees, then (3) WINNER GOLD could be the safe choice. He is a class and distance winner, and his recent form has been solid. He draws well and rarely runs a bad race. (5) SUPER SOCKS is better than his recent efforts suggest and may improve here.

Selections(9) Lil’ Patron (7) Heuk Jeonsa (4) Carving Cross (3) Winner Gold
Next Best5, 8
Fast Start2, 4, 6, 7